Monday, December 2, 2013

Looking Up: Thanksgiving Edition

My youngest goes to school in Arizona, 1500 miles away from our Pacific Northwest home. She loves her life on campus and I'm happy that she is happy. But I haven't laid eyes on her since I drove away from her dorm at the beginning of the semester last August, and that long separation is not fun for a mommy.

So last Wednesday afternoon, when she finally hopped a plane in Tucson and flew home for Thanksgiving break. I was excited to say the least.

But here comes the bad news: in order to fetch her home from the airport, I was required to run the Interstate 5 gauntlet, facing Thanksgiving Eve traffic that was miserably congested and slow. Took me 2.5 hours to make a thirty minute trip. Oi.

I'll admit that, at first, I was impatient and grumpy. Sitting behind the steering wheel, stressed over the crazy holiday drivers, worried about being late, anxious to bring our long separation to an end, I felt my blood pressure rise as quickly as my patience evaporated.

And then I looked up.

Popcorn clouds over Northgate as the sunset begins to color the sky.
The Seattle skyline pops into view as traffic slowly climbs over the Ship Canal Bridge.
Oh hay, Space Needle. You look cute against the setting sun.
Shadows deepen in the downtown corridor, turning the cascade of red brake lights into glowing embers.
The old Ranier brewery is gone but its iconic sign remains. However, the red neon no competition for the evening sky.
South of the city is a giant spaghetti bowl of on- and off-ramps, all made beautiful by the purple light.
Sun playing peek-a-boo through the tips of the trees.
As I approach the exit for the airport, the sun drops below the horizon and dusk settles over the chaos of traffic.

Needless to say, the headaches and heartaches of the trip quickly faded away as my eyes drank in these glorious sights. I arrived at the airport mentally rested and rejuvenated, and rendezvoused with my daughter exactly on time. Our peaceful reunion set the tone for a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend, and I shudder to think how the break might have been different if I had let that traffic ruin my mood.

On Thursday, as I stuffed myself with turkey dinner and contemplated my many blessings, I was especially grateful for my beautiful trip to the airport and the important reminder that when the ways of the world wear us down, our strength can be restored by simply looking up.

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Care for some more Thanksgiving stories?

Pumpkins, Acorns, And A Leaf
Teaching My Own: Talking Turkey
I Will Be Thankful When It's Done
Giving Thanks For Thanksgiving
Giving Thanks For Sly And Soul Train
My Thanksgiving Feast
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Thanksgiving
Thankful For The Forest
"T" Is For Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Dinner

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Read more stories about looking up, down. and all around:

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Ready for more sunset-chasing adventures? Read these:

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